Opinion: Death by Oreos
Commentary by Dick Wolfsie
We hear a lot about frivolous lawsuits, but we don’t hear nearly enough about the delicious ones. A guy from Kentucky is suing the company that makes Oreo cookies. He asserts that Oreos are slowly killing him. So what’s the problem? This sounds like a fun way to die.
The Nabisco company claims that 450 billion of these treats have been eaten in the last 100 years and no autopsy has ever listed the cause of death as Oreo cookies. Now, that’s a record Nabisco can be proud of. I’m not sure the Slim Jim people can claim the same.
I’ve been eating Oreo cookies for 65 years. We know the ritual: a glass of cold milk, plus 20 or 30 Oreos, then you start twisting them apart. Some people eat the side with cream frosting first; some just eat the frosting. Some dip the cookie in milk; some guzzle the milk after the cookie. How can you sue a company that has given you so many wonderful options in your life? It’s un-American.
So, does this guy have a case? Unlike cigarettes, where a warning is clearly emblazoned on the package, there is no admonition anywhere on the Oreo package or on the cookie. Considering how people eat Oreos, maybe inside the cookie, right in the vanilla cream, the Nabisco people should print:
“The Surgeon General has determined that eating Oreo cookies over an entire lifetime can raise your triglycerides and affect your cholesterol levels.”
This warning will deter no one, but the cookie would then have to be bigger. Hooray. The Nabisco company admits their cookies have many calories, but they claim they are already testing alternatives. Alternatives is a code word for tasteless. When McDonald’s said they were looking for an alternative to their fatty hamburger, they came up with a soy burger. Two out of three people who ate the burgers loved them. That was the problem. In six months, only three people ate them.
What about those cauliflower and broccoli farmers who have been getting away with murder for years? People are taking those veggies, breading and deep frying them. Then they dunk them in a creamy cheese sauce.
Those farmers better have some pretty good lawyers.